Mark Davis

The folks at the Daily Kos must have grinned at their cleverness Wednesday, proud of a Jed Lewison story headlined: “Hannity scores exclusive interview with bearded fanatic who declares: ‘Convert them or kill them.’”

The most common recent examples of such imagery involve jihadists affecting their centuries-old practice of conversion at swordpoint, offering a deadly choice to non-Muslims unfortunate enough to remain in an Iraq no longer protected by America: abandon your faith to adopt ours, or die. 40,000 Iraqi Yazidis were stranded on a mountaintop by that dark coercion.

But the Hannity interview was not with an Islamic State kingpin; it was with “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, who defined two options for dealing with such terrorists: “Convert them or kill them.”

And in the foggy morality of the left, where the Robertson clan’s Biblical beliefs are more repugnant than radical Islam, that makes Phil the Bin Laden of the Bayou.

If there are no fifth graders available to offer a swift correction of this logical absurdity, I will step into the vacuum.

When Islamic State butchers offer their victims the choice to convert or die, it is based on their crusade to obliterate competing faiths. The push for the new caliphate is on, from Libya to London, and presumably, from Pakistan to Peoria if we allow it. It is based on the Quranic instruction to fight and even kill those who fail to fall in line with Mohammed.

The Robertson dichotomy is the choice we have if we are to protect ourselves from these monsters. Quite a different basis, but a distinction unobserved by those eager to soft-pedal terrorism while stigmatizing Christianity.

While I would be pleased for the hooded executioners and their fans to find Jesus and drop their instruments of murder, full conversion from Islam to Bible belief is not necessary to de-fang the Islamist threat. Terrorists may convert to Christianity; they may convert to Judaism; they may convert to Buddhism; they may convert to atheism; they may pivot to the large but too-quiet patchwork of the Muslim faith that has embraced lawfulness and peace.

But they must abandon their faith-driven zeal to kill us. Since that is unlikely, we will have to kill them first, presuming we can cobble together the national will and the national leadership to actually rejoin a war that never stopped.

So while Phil was almost certainly talking about specific Christian conversion, the root truth remains: it does not matter what faith the Islamists adopt. What matters is the doctrine they must be compelled to abandon.